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Manna From Heaven

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    Posted: Yesterday at 13:33
I thought I did, Mike. Turns out it was hulled, and didn't sprout.

I figured the flavor profile wouldn't be affected to much, particularly with the barley you'd send---which has a fairly assertive taste. So I just ground the millet with the other grains.

I went with the hard wheat, cuz it has a higher protein content. Soft wheat is what they use for pastry flour.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 10:18
Brook, I'm starting to pick up ingredients here and there. A couple questions.

for the wheat berries, would hard or soft be authentic?  I'm not too familiar with the difference.

so far all I've been able to find is hulled millet. You said before that the hulled barely you found wouldn't sprout, I'm assuming this is the same here. Do you have a source for whole millet?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 09:21
I would have had a good chuckle at that as well. And you're probably right on the corona mills, not really good for making flour.

I was looking at the manual for my vitamix last night and going through the section that talks about making cereal and flour. It did not mention anywhere running it in reverse so maybe I'm just dreaming that part. The basic instructions though were to run it on low for 5 - 30 seconds for cereal, and to make flour: 2-3 minutes for course flour, 4 for bread flour, and 5 for fine flour.

As to the heat build up, I can see it being an issue but not too much I suppose. In the soup section it talks about adding cold ingredients and they should be boiling after 10 minutes on high. Given that the flour making is done on low and less than half the time I would hope the heat build up would be minimal. One of us will have to run a test though, I suppose.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 02:12
Well, the unit should arrive in about a week, and then we'll know for sure.

My understanding with the Corona and similar type mills is that they do not grind particularly finely. They're good for making cereals, for instance, and things like bulgur. But not flour.

Like everything else in this world, I reckon you get what you pay for.

Did have a coincidental chuckle yesterday, though. Was in BBB, and there was a display of VitaMixers next to the shelf holding all their other blenders. A woman was propounding to her friend, "My God! Why would anyone pay $400 for a blender when there are perfectly good ones for 30!" I refrained from pointing out that the display included only their low-end models.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2017 at 19:35
ah yes, the heat would be a valid concern. I don't know about 6 minutes, but I've made clam chowder in mine, but I think it was closer to 15 minutes to heat up. I suppose a pulsed approach might help, but then would also take a lot longer. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2017 at 17:14
My concern with the VitaMix is that it might overheat the grains. They say you can make hot soup in them in just six minutes, because the blades heat up so much. I'm presuming that's at high speed.

Contrarywise, VitaMix offers an optional 32 ounce "dry grains" container. The pix look just like the regular 32 ouncer, so I'm not sure what the difference is. But the implication is that you can grind whole grains with the machine.

The unit comes with both an instructional book and a CD. So I'll know more when it arrives.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2017 at 12:34
Thanks for the report Brook! I'm back from camping and going to start sourcing ingredients for this to give it my own try. Regarding the grind, two or three ideas come to mind.

 First, if you have a homebrewing supply store close they often have manual grinders available for customers to grind grains, though I have a feeling they'd be set a little too course for our purposes here.

Second, Corona style grain mills can be had for about $30 or less. They're not the best from what I understand and tend to tear the grain instead of crush it but might be a starting point.

Third the vitamix that you mention. I have my parents old school 80s model and I'm quite certain I've seen in the instruction manual that it talks about crushing grains and that the back side of the blades are blunt specifically for this purpose so that they pulverize the grain instead of cutting it. I'll confirm when I get home. This would obviously be the best route, though also the most expensive.

I'll take some more time to read through your report tonight, as I'm at work now and just skimmed it, but it looks like a good start with some pointers for me to try. I'll get going on ordering the grains here in the next day or two. Thanks for this thread!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2017 at 06:10
Later: After an hour the batter had risen almost to the top of each pan. Given the batter-like consistency, I didn’t think they rise higher than that. Hopefully, there will be some degree of oven spring. I transferred them to the oven. After about 25 minutes I’ll rotate the pans, to assure even baking. Should know, then, whether there’s additional expansion.

25 minutes later: Rather than rising higher, both breads have collapsed. :>( I suspect this is a function of the grind; everything was just too coarse, and the gluten strands couldn’t form properly. I’ll let them finish baking, just to see what happens. But I suspect they will be incredibly dense---the way I envisioned them being made in the desert.

Well, I’d have to call this one a failure. After 50 minutes the breads were collapsed, sides and top crisp as though they’d be fried, and the centers still uncooked. Trying to unmold them, they broke through the middle, with half the loaf coming out and the balance stuck in the pans.

The parts I could salvage were tasty, to be sure; nut-like, yeasty, and full bodied. But, until such time as I can grind the ingredients properly, this one goes on hold. Disappointing, but what can you do?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2017 at 01:43
Today’s the day!

I’ve mixed everything, and the “dough” is rising. Breads will go into the oven in about an hour.

As noted above, the web is covered up with references to Ezekiel bread, with numerous recipes. For the record, the one I’m using comes from the blog site, www.trimdownclub.com. Here it is:

How To Make Ezekiel Bread

2 ½ cups/400 g sprouted wheat berries
1 ½ cups/260 g sprouted spelt grains
½ cup/90 g sprouted barley grains
½ cup/100 g sprouted millet grains
¼ cup/44 g sprouted green lentils
6 tbls/75 g sprouted organic soy, lupin, mung, and/or other starchy beans
4 cups/900 ml warm water (not hot)
1 tbls/14 ml honey or coconut blossom nectar/syrup
½ cup/110 ml olive oil
1 ½ tbls/14 g (2 packets) active dry yeast
1 tsp/6 g salt

Preheat oven to 350 F/175C

Mix the grains with legumes. Grind them in a grain mill (or use a blender on high for several minutes) to make your flour, and then place the flour in a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, add honey, water, 1/3 cup/80 ml olive oil, yeast, and ½ cup/120 g of the flour mixture. Stir together, then let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes until bubbly.

After that time has passed, add the remaining flour mixture and the salt. Stir until thoroughly mixed. The mixture will look more like cake or cookie batter than standard bread dough.

Grease two 9x5 inch/23x13cm loaf pans with the remaining oil. Pour in the batter mixture, and set aside in a warm place for about an hour to let it rise.

Place pans in preheated oven, and bake for about 50 minutes, or until loaves are golden brown.

Store tightly wrapped in a cool, dry place. Will keep for up to 3 days unrefrigerated, 2 weeks refrigerated. Freeze for indefinite storage.

Because this is such an incredible different approach from traditional breads, I wanted to follow the recipe precisely. Alas, due to my own errors, and lack of a grain mill (see above) it didn’t quite work out that way.

For starters: Having no idea who raw grains would translate to sprouted ones in terms of mass and weight, I overbought each of them slightly, figuring I could measure after the fact. However, I didn’t think things through, and combined ingredients ahead of time. For instance, the wheat and spelt were sprouted together. Ditto the lentils and beans.

To get around that, I used the totals in each case. That is, I started with 4 cups total of wheat/spelt. Hopefully, the ratios will be close enough to make no never mind.

Where choices are offered I used mung beans and honey.

When adding the flour to the liquid the mix tends to be lumpy. So I used a whisk to help break up the lumps and make a smooth batter. I also let the batter rest five minutes before loading the loaf pans, to assure even hydration.

I only have one loaf pan of the appropriate size, so used it and the next size up. Shouldn’t make that much of a difference, but we’ll see once they’re risen fully. The recipe doesn’t specify, so I filled each pan about halfway.

At this point, halfway through the rise time, they look good. Both pans are filling nicely, and, proportionately look the same in terms of height. So I’m confident they will work out.

Stay tuned. There’s more to come.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 July 2017 at 00:00
Just on a whim I did a search for grain mills.  Surprise #1: There's an incredibly large number of them available.  Surprise #2: They're incredibly pricey, ranging up to about 500 clams for a manually operated mill.

I'd have to really be dedicated to making my own flours to justify that kind of investment. Especially when my more immediate goal is a professional-grade VitaMix---which carries a similar price tag.

Ah, well. If it were easy, everyone would own all this stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 July 2017 at 07:42
Got to work, today, grinding the ingredients. And immediately ran into a snag: Whoever said a food processor makes a good substitute for a grain mill obviously never tried it. Or certainly not with my KitchenAid model. The best I could do with the wheat/spelt mixture resembled cracked wheat rather than flour.

If anyone has experience doing this, I’d like to hear about your experience.

Be that as it may, I turned to my spice grinder. Using small amounts at a time (about a half cup), and pausing often so as to not overheat the grains, I managed to produce a mix sort of like cornmeal. Oddly enough, the other ingredients ground much finer than the wheat. Go figure.

Could be the sprouting/drying process made them more brittle than the wheat/spelt berries. But that’s pure supposition.

On one hand, this is a little disappointing. But, on the other hand, it’s likely that the wandering Israelites ground their mixture in some form of a mortar & pestle. Or, at best, a quern (sp?). Either way, it would have been a coarse flour at best.

At any rate, we’ll see what happens when I try baking with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2017 at 23:40
The barley Mike sent arrived today. So now it's back to work, grinding the grains and legumes into flour.

Hopefully, I'll be able to try baking a loaf come Monday or Tuesday.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2017 at 23:45
Everything is dried and ready for grinding. I've put the ingredients up, for now, because PitRow (thanks, again, Mike) is sending me some malted barley.  So everything is on hold until it arrives.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 July 2017 at 00:57
Hey, Mike. Thanks for the offer. I'll send my mailing address as a PM.

As to the other, side-track all you like. It just further demonstrates that there's a whole world of breads to be made using non-traditional ingredients.

If you have one handy, why not post one of those recipes?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2017 at 08:49
Thanks for the update Brook! I've been pretty busy around here and haven't had time to look for any ingredients, and I probably won't have time until I'm back from camping at the end of the month, but I will definitely keep this at the top of my list to try.

As for the malting/sprouting, that's good info to know! If you'd like, I have plenty of malted barley here I can send you a pound or so if you'd like to try it for your next batch. Only issue I can see is it typically includes the husks which might be a pain to separate out.

On a related note (sorry if I'm side-tracking your thread) I've seen a couple recipes that use the spent grains after brewing beer. I imagine this would be a fun experiment to see how it turns out also. I imagine you'd get all the fiber from the grains but very little sugar since most of it is extracted during the brewing process.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2017 at 08:07
Got home from work and, as I suspected, everything was ready for the dehydrator. Except the millet, which shows no signs of sprouting.

I'm thinking I may have gotten hulled millet, rather than whole grain, by mistake.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2017 at 08:05
Mike,
Here’s an update on sprouting/malting. In his Whole Grains Bread book, Peter Reinhart notes that grains are ready as soon as the root shows, rather than growing to ¼ inch as my original research indicated.

From that I conclude that sprouting and malting are exactly the same process, and the malted barley available to you should work just fine.

Interestingly, Reinhart uses the sprouted grains to create a mash, rather than drying them and grinding into flour.

I'm beginning to realize there's much more to this than initially met the eye.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 July 2017 at 03:16
Well, I couldn't be more wrong.

In the morning, yesterday, I drained everything, and transferred the wheat/spelt to a paper-towel-lined sheet pan. Last night, when I went to remoisten things, much of it was already starting to show root tails.

If things continue at that pace, I'll probably be putting stuff in the dehydrator today.

I've never before had things sprout in only two days.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 July 2017 at 11:57
Well, as they say, better late than never. I finally gathered all the ingredients, and got started with the sprouting process.

I couldn’t find whole-grain barley, however. Only things available were hulled and pearled; neither of which would sprout. So I went with the hulled, and will just use it that way.

I put the wheat and spelt together in a large bowl, covered with water. Tomorrow I’ll drain it, and set it up on a paper towel-lined sheet pan.

The beans and lentils, combined, fit very comfortably in a quart sprouting jar. As did the millet. I’m thinking there’s no reason not to leave them that way, and proceed as I normally would for sprouts; just ending the process much earlier.

Based on past experience, I’m guessing it will be three or four days before the grains/lentils are ready to go in the dehydrator.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 June 2017 at 14:40
I've been doing some looking on and off this morning and it seems the two terms are almost identical, if not exactly the same. The only difference being the length of time the grain is allowed to sprout. In brewing the 'malted' grain is only allowed to go until the sprout just breaks the surface, where when people talk about 'sprouting' they generally seem to be letting the sprout grow more. So it should be feasible to use malted barley from a brew supply store I think.

regardless though, doing the sprouting yourself sounds like a fun experiment as well!
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